Nissan has said it is to hire up to 40 new apprentices in response to what it describes as the shortage of skilled labour in the country, created by the rapid development of technology around autonomous and electric cars.

The new positions will be based in local Nissan dealerships across Ireland and will be taken on before the end of the year, with the apprentices mentored and trained over four years to become qualified automotive technicians.

The move is part of the 'Nissan Generation Next Apprentice Academy', which has been specially developed to support the next generation of master technicians and industry leaders within the Irish motor industry.

Chosen apprentices will complete their normal block release apprenticeship with Solas.

They will receive Nissan product training throughout their apprenticeship relevant to their experience and ability and will continue their education to qualify as Nissan Master Technicians.

CEO of Nissan Ireland James McCarthy said: "This is no ordinary apprenticeship. It is highly focused on meeting the shortage of skilled labour in our industry and on equipping those who apply with the skills and expertise to respond to the exciting challenges created by the new technology driving the demand for connected, autonomous and electric vehicles.”

Applications for the scheme are open until 25 November.